Two Years of Everyday Writing

October 19, 2020 • #

Earlier this month I passed the 2-year mark of writing on this site every day. If on that first day, deciding to embark on this streak, you’d told me that in October 2020 I’d still be going, 2018 me would’ve laughed it off. Doing it even for a few months sounded impossible.

What helped make it reality was converting writing into a continuous background activity, an ever-present filter for thoughts, ideas, and readings to pass through. Every time I read an article or have an idea, I filter it through the writing lens — Would this make a good article? Do I have a unique angle on this idea?

James Clear writes about how your environment is a strong contributor to effective habit-forming. One of the techniques he describes resonates with me and fits my behavior patterns nicely: staging your environment by putting enablers “in the flow”:

You can apply a similar strategy by designing an environment where good habits “get in the flow” of your normal behaviors. For example, if you want to practice a musical instrument, you could place it in the middle of your living room. Similarly, you are more likely to go to the gym if it is literally on the way home from work than if the gym is only five minutes away, but in the opposite direction of your commute. Whenever possible, design your habits so they fit in the flow of your current patterns.

My writing filter above is a version of this. It’s a context that keeps me accreting ideas together as fodder for writing topics. This perpetual context is one version of an environment that happens to work well for me. I have reminders in Roam, various “ideas” tags, tools to dictate quick thoughts to a scratchpad. And the goal commitment itself eventually builds up enough gravitational force to do its own pulling.

If you can create patterns of behavior to support the building of a habit, it’s amazing what kind of change you can engender in your behavior.

After 747 consecutive days of publishing, it’s a good time to reflect on what I want to do with the site outside of regular posting.